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Subject: I Salute You Mr Laane! rss

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Neil Horabin
United Kingdom
Hounslow
Middlesex
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Spearmint - A Different Lifetime
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First play and my first ever review so I’ll keep it brief! Having been on here for years and collected a good number of games I joined a club earlier this year and have bought even more games. Have found myself to have a serious love for eurogames, with worker placement and economic themes a preference.

Anyway, having just made a few quid on ebay I treated myself to this having read about it in Spielbox 2011/2. Looked great, and I have a thing for Finland at the moment too. Almost got a game of Walnut Grove during the week, but it wasn’t to be. So with the family out this morning I rushed out to get some games’ picnic treats and snacks and had everything ready when they returned. Four rounds of Penguin Party kicked us off, and then our second family outing of Paris Connection, coincidently voted adult game of the year in Finland just this week, and then we were ready for my new game.

The family were in awe at the stunning artwork and thankfully the rule book is really well written, simple with clear examples, so everyone was still listening when it came to the endgame conditions. And off we went for seven rounds of fun, plenty of interaction and who took all the water? The three actions you’re allowed each round provide plenty of scope – placing workers or winemasters in your vineyard, providing them with water to harvest, and then buying or selling at the market. There’s no doubt you have to mix the order you take them in to gain maximum advantage. During your turn you also get the chance to manipulate the market, but at the end of each round the market economics kick in, supply and demand in their true glory. All of this is followed by your own ‘winetasting’, and you can again manipulate the market. Over seven rounds of this your focus changes again making you think about all the options you have.

My daughter Josie produced and traded well early on and was showing a good profit. My son Basti was building up stocks of one or two wines but holding on for better prices. My wife and I were busy accumulating vineyards but not having much when it came to harvesting or trading. As it was the prices came good for Basti and he produced and traded extremely profitably in the final two rounds to win by a good margin. Josie just got pipped for second by one point having run out of resources one round too early. I think both the girls were trying a bit too hard to manipulate the market at times but I wasn’t going to mention it. Anyway, the wife’s cracking open some real wine to commiserate with herself!

All in all a really nice theme and a quick-paced euro that has enough decisions to keep you concentrating throughout. Will be taking this along to the club in the next few weeks in an effort to generate some more love for this wonderful game. Have to say it wasn’t easy to get hold of a copy in the UK, many thanks to lautapelit.fi for their excellent speedy and friendly service.

But most of all, Mr Laane, many thanks indeedy for your game, I love it!
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Paul Laane
Finland
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Neil, thank you very much for your enthusiastic review! You just made my day!
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